Predator: Life and Death #1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Brian Thies
Colorist: Rain Beredo
Cover: David Palumbo
Last year we were treated to “Fire and Stone” which was a crossover event that brought together Aliens, Predators, and Engineers from the Prometheus film. The event was spaced out between several titles and it looks as if “Life and Death” is taking that same approach here. Starting with the most vicious hunters in the galaxy and the team unlucky enough to cross their path.
There’s a certain formula when it comes to these stories and Abnett isn’t straying too far from that here. He introduces the Weyland-Yutani rep along with the large crew of colonial marines along the way. Many of whom we know will become fodder for the Predators but that’s part of the fun. Which becomes apparent almost immediately after the crew lands on Tartarus and finds the lone survivor of a rival corporation’s team. Abnett works in the tension and you’re waiting for the other show to drop as the team is noticing that things just don’t feel right. For those fans of the movie Aliens, Abnett even throws in a line from there and no it’s not THAT line. Abnett does throw in a great and well paced action scene for Thies to draw which introduces us to the new Predators in this story.
The art from Thies an Beredo is solid throughout but the big question was how would they handle the cloaking technology of the Predators. With as many Predator titles Dark Horse has put out over the years there have been some great artists that totally botch the cloak and it really pulls you out of the scene. However the first shot we get of a cloaked Predator is great in both that it looks fantastic as the environment colors are mixed into the mirroring effect and you see yet another exotic design of this particular Preadator’s mask. Since the book goes from the setup to action pretty quickly there’s still some nice pacing from the art and the action is perfectly brutal and bloody from start to finish.
Predator: Life and Death also has an established timeline set up between the first Alien film and last year’s comic event so this pretty much makes it canon and should satisfy those longtime fans. The formulaic approach might be off putting to some but Abnett doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel here. This issue has everything you need for a great Predator story and let’s hope the end is just as strong.